Columbia University receives CDC funding to train minority students in public health

Columbia University has been awarded a five-year, $3.7 million federal grant for a five-year program to implement the Summer Public Health Scholars Program, a partnership among Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, College of Dental Medicine, School of Nursing and the Mailman School of Public Health.

October 25, 2011

The goal of the program is to increase the knowledge and interest of minority undergraduates in public health and biomedical science. It will recruit and train 50 students each year from community colleges, four-year colleges and post-baccalaureate programs who are undecided about their career choices.

The intensive 10-week program will include three days per week working with public health professional mentors, weekly courses in epidemiology, public health and health disparities and cultural competence. Each participant will be required to complete a final paper and oral presentation.

It will be led by Hilda Hutcherson, MD, associate dean of the Office of Diversity and clinical professor in the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The announcement from the CDC is below. Additional information is available at

CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity
announces awards for the National Minority Undergraduate Student Program
– A Public Health Workplace Experience to Increase Minority Student Interest in Public Health-

In line with OMHHE’s leadership in building a diverse public health workforce prepared to reduce health disparities, this program seeks to create a national program for the exposure of minority undergraduate students to public health and biomedical sciences.  Over a 5-year period, this program will engage up to 200 undergraduate students per year in a 10-week summer activity that provides them with meaningful and valuable experience in public health.  Up to 20 minority medical and graduate students per year will also be engaged in the James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Disease program.

33 Applications were received and five awards were made to four agencies on September 15, 2011.

Four grant recipients will be responsible for the Recruitment, Orientation, Placement, Mentorship, and Follow-up Tracking of Minority Undergraduate Students from throughout the United States.  They include:

  •  Trustees of Columbia University – New York, NY
  •  Kennedy Krieger Institute Children’s Hospital – Baltimore, MD
  •  Morehouse College – Atlanta, GA
  •  The Regent of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI

Morehouse College also received a grant to serve as the National Minority Undergraduate Student Coordination Center for this project, for which it will serve as a technical support;

And, the Kennedy Krieger Research Institute received a grant for the James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Disease Program which will target racial and ethnic minority graduate and professional students in medicine, public health, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy.

These programs will initiate summer recruitment and placement in the spring of 2012.